Earlier this week, my colleague and I had dinner at Tapak Urban Street Dining in Permaisuri, next to Stadium KL.
Tapak is a food truck park that was established in 2016, and now has 6 food truck parks around Klang Valley—Permaisuri, KLCC, Amcorp Mall PJ, TTDI, Cyberjaya and Shah Alam.
It was started by 3 good high school friends who shared the same love and passion for street food, hence, they got together to start Tapak parks operated by local food trucks.
Currently, their opening hours are 5PM-12PM, and the TTDI branch closes every Sunday.
I always keen on visiting one of their food truck parks, but what got me more interested was their Kapita app. Kapita has 2 apps, one for food truck vendors and one for customers.
The app is supposed to provide users on the latest events and food spots near their location.
App Doesn’t Really Add Much To The Experience
Now, I had some high expectations of the app because I wondered what gaps Kapita was trying to fill in relation to food trucks.
Because I could already Google “food trucks near me” and check out their opening hours, menu, location, etc., I thought Kapita would provide more than this basic information.
Overall, it was underwhelming. It showed us the list of food truck operators that were there that night, but when we clicked into it, they only showed us a very small part of their menu with the price below the item. Some listings didn’t even have a menu.
We’re not sure if this was because the vendors simply didn’t want to update their listing, or if they were just so new and busy that they didn’t have time to do so.
They also showed a list of facilities you can find in the food truck park, but no indication of where you can find them.
For those who already in Tapak, the app serves little purpose, especially for the smaller food truck parks. If you haven’t left home and simply want to peruse your options for the night first though, the app is useful.
We’d say it works best to help people plan which food truck park to visit and to get an idea of the food they can expect there at least.
This is most useful during MCO where we may first want to check out the parks to see if they’re worth visiting in the first place.
Not The Foodie Haven I Imagined
Parking at Tapak Permaisuri wasn’t too difficult. I arrived at around 8:30PM and there was a crowd there already, but I managed to find parking immediately when I reached.
The entire space had a fleet of food trucks, and when we checked the Kapita app, there were around 20 that night. But because of MCO, there weren’t as many tables and chairs for customers due to social distancing.
We made a round to see which food trucks were enticing enough for us to make a purchase. Our goal was to get finger foods, drinks and a proper meal.
Now even though there were a lot of food trucks, there wasn’t really much variety to the things they were selling.
We ran into several char kuey teow stores, and a few drinks trucks were pretty much milk tea and coffee copies. Most offered a mix of local and Western food, and nothing truly stood out.
However, this could be put down to the fact that Tapak may be facing a shortage of food trucks at the moment during the MCO, and has to make do with which vendors are currently available.
Despite that though, it’s still impressive they could populate the place with food trucks, and folks who worked at the nearby hospital would surely appreciate the fast and hot meals available there.
Furthermore, all of the foodtrucks we ordered from didn’t once say they didn’t have a menu item available. One would have expected that they would prioritise ingredients for their more popular dishes so as to cut costs during MCO, but we had no such experience.
In the end, we settled for cheesy fries and chicken wings, a fried chicken burger, satay, one of the many char kuey teow stores, a fresh coconut and a coconut shake.
We paid using cash and e-wallets, and didn’t run into any difficulties with paying. The tables were a little too small for my liking, but it’s what one would expect in a night market or similar where space is prioritised for crowds.
The food was good and filling, but I thought most of them seemed catered more towards those who prefer their savoury food sweet too. Believe it or not, the coconut water was actually the least sweet thing I had that night.
One thing I appreciated though was that one of the food trucks gave us plastic gloves to eat the finger foods with, which showed they didn’t skimp on customer experience despite the situation.
Hopes For Tapak And Kapita
Having been out for 2 years now, I was expecting the app to enable users to make an order, pay, include food truck reviews by other users, and have a more expansive menu, for examples.
Additionally, I wish we could have seen more choices with how many food trucks there were in that particular Tapak.
Although my experience there wasn’t up to my expectations, I still think that this concept and the app have the potential to go far.
Tapak just needs to vary its food trucks in one location a little more, and offer a better mix of cuisine. At the particular location we went to, it’d have been nice to see some Indian or Thai food or Western desserts, for example.
On the other hand, Kapita needs to improve the consistency of its listings and have all vendors provide the same type and amount of information (in terms of menu).
The app having navigational features would also greatly help, and an ability to pre-book and pay for your food on the app would be nice too.
Even better, allow patrons to book tables for a specific duration (1 hour max) so they don’t have to wander around looking for one with food in hand.
This is the only Tapak I visited out of the 6 they have across Klang Valley though, so each Tapak may differ depending on location and their crowd.
Rather than state that this is the definitive Tapak experience, I might try out the others to see if my experience changes with their different food truck parks.
Editor’s Note: Parts of this article have been edited to reflect a more accurate opinion and review of the app and place.
- You can learn more about Tapak here and the Kapita App here.
- You can read more reviews we’ve written about here.